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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    December 9, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ on the 2012 nobel peace prize will be awarded to an unusual recipient this year, the european union. norwegian nobel committee said it made its decision based on the work the eu has done promoting peace since world war
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ii. it comes as the eu is mired in the wor financist financial crie its founding. the next hour of the cnn "newsroom" begins right now. top of the hour. i'm don lemon. we're going to begin with breaking news on the fiscal cliff talks. president obama, house speaker john boehner met face-to-face at the white house today to try to prevent the fiscal cliff now just 23 days away. we don't have any details on their conversations, but reps for both sides say the lines of communication remain open. meanwhile, at least four republican senators now support a tax hike on wealthy americans. here is senator tom coburn of oklahoma. >> the fact is we're spending money that we don't have on things we don't absolutely need, and there's no grown-ups in washington that will say time-out, stop the politics, let's have a compromise rather than continue to play the game through the press and hurt the
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country. >> more on this story in just a few minutes with our senior political analyst, david gergen. a half million dollars, that's the bond set today by a judge near dallas for cowboys nose tackle josh brent. he was behind the wheel in a car accident this weekend that killed teammate jerry brown, jr. police believe brent was drunk when he flipped his mercedes yesterday morning. we have an update to last week's tragedy in kansas city. new video released by police shows chiefs linebacker javon belcher hours before he killed his girlfriend and then himself. the police dashcam video shows officers talking to belcher after they found him apparently sleeping in his car. >> you live right here? then you just need to go upstairs, dude. >> okay. that's going to be your best bet. >> we're trying to cut you a break here. >> belcher told police he was going to a nearby apartment to see a woman.
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gay couples living in washington made history joining in the first legal same-sex marriages in the state. sarah and emily cover were the first to get married at the king county courthouse in seattle. >> we're totally in love with each other, and we support each other through good times and tough times just like any other marriage, and so it's really important to us that we can honor that love with each other through marriage. >> the governor signed the voter approved referendum into law on wednesday. those of you in minnesota and the great lakes area, i don't have to tell you that you're getting slammed right now by a major winter storm. it's the most snow in the minneapolis area so far this season, and we're still a week and a half away from the start of winter. 8 inches of snow right now in the twin cities. a few more inches will accumulate there tonight. that storm will bring rain to new england tomorrow.
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we have more now on those fiscal cliff talks today between president obama and house speaker john boehner. our emily schmidt is in washington. >> reporter: this was a bit of a surprise meeting. it certainly took place behind closed doors, and all we are being told resulted from it came from two separate statements, one from the white house, one from a congressional staffer, and the statements' wording is identical. this afternoon the president and speaker boehner met at the white house to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff. we're not reading out details of the conversation, but the lines of communication remain open. this meeting was not on the official white house schedule today. wednesday a source familiar with the conversation said the two actually spoke by phone. that was the first time in a week they had done so. certainly no reported break-through then. back on monday the president and the speaker were at the same event together, a holiday party at the white house. republican and democratic sources said the two didn't even talk there. john boehner said on friday the white house had wasted another week in potential compromise.
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at this point we don't know what caused today's movement, just that for the first time in a while the two sides are agreeing on something, even if it's just the wording of their statements about the meeting. >> emily, thank you. cnn's senior political analyst david ger begin joins gen joins cod. you're in front of the camera. >> i can see your snappy tie. >> getting a lot of love and hate on social media. is this the sign of a deal they may be getting closer to a deal. >> it's a sign they may be getting closer. i wouldn't go beyond that. it's encouraging because it clearly indicates that both sides do want to talk. they recognize that the deadlines are coming at them very fast now, that this week is a crucial week and seeing if they can get a break threw. the fact they were willing to sit down. they did it in private instead of all the kind of political theater we've been seeing over the last couple weeks. i think that's encouraging. but, don, we should be patient.
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we won't know probably until tomorrow whether they made any progress. there lehr lewill be leaks soon sure. there's a near-term issue of whether they can avoid a fiscal cliff right at the end of the year, 23 days away, and this suggests maybe they will find a way to do that, but there's even a bigger long-term issue, and that is whether the kind of agreement they could reach now will lead to a grand bargain or whether it's going to lead to a mouse instead of an elephant. and we don't know that yesterday. we'll have to wait and see what they can craft this week and see, indeed, if they can get past the fiscal cliff. that's point one. the grand bargain is really important, too. >> yeah. hey, when we talked last hour, you said the president wanted $1.6 trillion, right, in taxes and tom coburn was talking about the tax rate. what did you say? where do you think that they're going to end up possibly meeting in the middle here? >> well the conventional wisdom is the republicans are talking about an $800 billion tax
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package. the president is talking about a 1.6 and they might wind up splitting the difference at 1.2. that's been sort of between the line that's what people in washington think. but, you know, so much depends upon the spirit that goes into the short-term agreement now. if john boehner says, look, mr. president, if you're going to force us to take the tax rates up, that's something we don't want to do, we'll go to 800, but that's it. we're not going to go beyond that, and you can't expect anything from us on a grand bargain beyond 800. that would really reduce the size of any kind of grand bargain. so in some ways, don, what's at stake here is whether they can craft a deal that's win/win. that each side can walk away from something in the short term saying we're encouraged. this gives us greater reason to go on and engage in the grand bargain next year. >> okay. you know, as republicans start to talk about maybe giving, you know, something on this tax hike for the wealthy, is this a white
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flag? i'm sure some will see it as a waving of a white flag, no? >> there will be a lot of democrats who think it's a white flag and they will say, mr. president, this is gl what he said. you hang tough with those guys and in the end they will cave and there will be some justification for that. again, if this is a deal that in effect forces the republicans to cave and the republicans get nothing from it, it could be what they call a parent victory. that the democrats win something now but in terms of what the nation needs, which is a grand bargain, which requires a lot of compromise on both sides before this is over, you know, if they do it in such a way that the republicans grumble all the way to caving in and they don't get anything for it, you're not going to be able to see much next year. i think the chance of getting a big deal next year do go down. so this is a moment, don, when a lot of things are hanging in the balance. having them actually sit down today is encouraging because it
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really means they don't want to take us all the way to the 11th hour and the 59th minute. they really want to see if they can get a break-through now. that's encouraging. whether they can actually get, you know, to a bigger bargain i think is very, very much still in question. >> now that i can see you, your tie is not so bad either. >> we're both in the holiday season. >> thank you, david. always a pleasure. >> okay. thank you. the future of syria was the main item on the agenda when u.s. and russian officials met in geneva today with the u.n. peace envoy. reports say after 21 months of relentless bloodshed, they agreed it was still possible to find a political solution to the crisis. but russian foreign minister sergei lavrov insisted the meeting did not mean moscow's support for syrian president bashar al assad is weakening. fierce fighting threatening to engulf the city of damascus. as that battle for the capital intensifies, the stakes are getting higher in syria, and the regime is getting even more
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desperate. the pentagon believes government troops have loaded bombs with sarin gas in what may be the last-ditch attempt for president assad to hold onto power. but as barbara starr reports now, a u.s. military strike on syria is not without risk. >> reporter: with the u.s. now believing the syrian government has chemical-filled bombs, cnn has learned the pentagon is secretly updating military strike options for president obama in the event he orders action. a senior u.s. official tells cnn a strike could be carried out with the ships and aircraft already stationed in the region. the planning is being driven by the latest intelligence which u.s. officials say shows sarin gas has been loaded into aerial bombs in at least two locations near airfields. syria seems to have crossed the line drawn by the president last august. >> a red line for us is we start
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seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. >> reporter: this week that line seems to have shifted with warnings from the president, secretary of defense panetta, and others focusing on what happens if assad uses the weapons. >> see, these lines become sort of pink lines. you know, they're not drawn with, you know, a fine pencil. and they move around a little. >> reporter: military options for striking syria spell out the case for why an attack might be called for. u.s. officials say there are multiple reports, more than just satellite imagery, confirming the aerial bombs. the regime is getting more desperate in recent days as fighting has raged around damascus leading to worries al asad could order a deadly strike that could kill thousands. and unlike iraq before the u.s. war, syria's chemical weapons program is openly acknowledged by that government.
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>> these weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the syrian republic. >> reporter: but the president will also be warned of the risks. civilians could be killed by a deadly release of gas if the sarin isn't all destroyed. syrian air defenses could bring down u.s. pilots if fighter jets are used. the regime could move its chemical weapons even minutes before an attack. and if the weapons start moving around, that poses another dire consideration. officials worry that terrorists could then move in and try to seize control of this deadly arsenal. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> thanks. earlier i spoke with a reporter from amsterdam, and he talked about how marijuana affected that city. next, we're going to have a seattle city leader listen to what he said to us. and is his city ready for pot being legal? that's next. ♪
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. marijuana has gone legit. as of thursday recreational use is legal in washington state, and that set off plenty of celebrating and lighting up in seattle. >> three, two, one! whoo! >> really? they did a countdown. voters approvaled legalization on election day and it took effect thursday. people headed to the space needle and staged what must have been a very laid back party. i want to bring in sally clark. she's the president of the city council there. she does have a sense of humor about this, but i'm sure she's a little worried because she doesn't know. sally, welcome. thanks for coming on. >> thanks, don.
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thanks for having me. >> i'd like to you listen to a journalist from the netherlands we spoke with last night, and i asked him about amsterdam's famously liberal drug policies and if your city should fear an increase in crime now that pot is legal. listen. >> they don't have to fear any increase -- that's my experience here in amsterdam, because what i told you, there's a nice atmosphere, a lot of foreigners are coming to buy their soft drugs. it's not heroin or cocaine. it's soft drugs, cannabis, marijuana, and there's strong regulations. people who are under 18 can't buy it. the mayor checks every coffee shops several times a year, the police is checking it. >> it's a little hard to understand but he says people come to buy soft drugs. it's not cocaine or heroin, it's marijuana. so, miss clark, is that your view, that people have nothing to fear from legalized pot in
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washington state and seattle? >> i don't know if i'd go quite that far. i mean, we are in the beginning of what's going to be i think a really long experiment period, and for washington this is something we've been moving towards probably for longer than even some other states, colorado had a similar vote to ours. we've got a year from november 6th to now go through rulemaking. you have got the philosophy of people getting out and voting and saying, hey, i want to see a different approach to marijuana. i want to see a different approach to the dollars that are spent on law enforcement. that's the philosophy that the people vote on, and now we have to engage in the practical rulemaking in order to put that philosophy into practice, and that's where some of the more difficult questions get answered about how do you put in place a legal system that provides for legal licensed production, processing, and sale for personal consumption? and so if people are saying, hey, this is big open season, you know, don't book your
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flights. this is not open season. we've got a lot to go through in washington. >> it leads me to nynex question. what's your reaction to the crowd of pot smokers under the space needle. is that the imagine you want for seattle to have? >> no, not so much really. and certainly there's a huge amount of enthusiasm. there were a lot of folks who have worked towards a more rational approach to marijuana for a very long period of time. the initiative that washington voters approved on november 6th is very clear. this is about for basically private personal consumptions. you are not supposed to be lighting up out on the street. you are not supposed to be consuming openly in public places. anyplace where you cannot smoke a cigarette, you cannot light up a joint. i get there's a great deal of enthusiasm on december 6th, but that's not going to be the reality in the streets in seattle. >> yeah. let's talk about the economics of it because, you know, a lot of people are considering this now. they're more open to it because they're trying to close budget gaps in their cities, towns,
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municipals, states, what have you. that journalist i spoke to mentioned outsiders coming in to buy drugs. that could be a money maker for washington state, but do you think there could be problems with that as well or do you agree it could help you economically? >> i think it is a long ways towards that kind of market development. and, again, this will be an odd thing. if, as some people say, we really are at the beginning of the end of prohibition, that's not a short trek and so if people think, hey, i'm going to go to washington from my state and i'm going to take something home, that's not going to go over well in the state they're from. i don't think the feds are going to look upon that positively. >> it's not legal. >> it's not legal. >> it's not legal. >> let's remember, at the federal level this is still a schedule one drug, and we are in -- washington is in an interesting dance with the federal officials right now. >> i want to ask you something because heed this reporter and many other people make the same point. listen, it may be legal now in washington state, but, i mean,
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seattle has sort of had similar rules when it comes to being -- having relaxed rules on marijuana as amsterdam. you said you have been dealing with this longer than anyone else. he seems to and a lot of people who know, you know, the pharmacology of the drug say it's not a violent drug. people become more violent with alcohol. they have more trouble with police and people getting rowdy on the streets with alcohol than they do with marijuana users. >> yeah. you know, i have heard some of these arguments as well. >> have you seen that where you are from people who -- because it's not the first time people will be using marijuana in seattle. >> well, depends on the person, but, you know, i think the point that i see in terms of crime patterns is really more related to the fact that this has up until now been an illegal market, and so when i look at the police blotter and i see that there is a strong armed theft in a home in north
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seattle, i am not surprised when i learn that there was a marijuana grow operation in the home. the black market leads to this kind of activity and to other folks preying on the activity. i am hoping that we're on a journey here to change, and this will take a while, to change what is an illegal system that really lends itself to people preying on other people in order to maximize the money or take the product into something that is a more legal, open, aboveboard and regulated system. having one state do that is not going to be the shift though. this is a long time. >> as you said, you're on the forefront and you have a long way to go. thank you for coming on. i really appreciate it. enjoyed it, as a matter of fact. >> thank you, don. it was a pleasure. a decades old mystery, and soon we may have some answers. what happened to the boys that ended up in this cemetery on the grounds of a florida reform school? that's next. that offer an epa-estimated 30 mpg highway or better. yeah?
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it is a decades' old reform school mystery that still haunts its students. stories about boys who were brutally beaten to death by guards and boys who suddenly disappeared. cnn's ed lavandera visited the former school in florida.
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>> reporter: a mystery haunts the grounds of this now defunct reform school for boys in the florida panhandle town of mariana involving teenage boys sent her decades ago, some never seen again. in recent years former students now in their twilight years have come forward with horrific stories of punishing abuse doled out by school leaders and of friends who vanished, stories told by cnn. they accused former school leaders of beatings, sexual abuse, and even murder. which brings us to this cemetery on the school grounds. the bodies of 31 boys are buried here. florida authorities claim they know how all the boys died. some killed in a fire, others in a flu epidemic, nothing criminal. but new research shows other bodies could be buried in this area, too, and dozens of former students and families say that's proof of a more sinister story hidden in these woods. back in the early 1960s, the
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leaders of the boys reform school had a local boy scout troop come in and clen up the cemetery. they put up these 31 crosses. a team of anthropologists have been going through all of this area, cleared out all the woods around here, and they're finding the possibility of many more grave shafts, which is only leading to the mystery of what happened here. untangling the story may be lost to crime. the school closed last year. the events happened from the 1940s to 1960s. most of the school leaders from then have died. a research project led by university of south florida anthropologist erin kimmerly turned up evidence of additional grave sites during months of searching. kimmerly says series many as 18 more bodies could be buried here and the research team believes a second cemetery could be hidden on the school grounds. >> we've got something right there. >> we've found burials within the marked -- current marked
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cemetery and then we found burials that extend beyond that. >> reporter: kimmerly has traveled the world investigating war crimes for the united nations, searching for mass graves in places like yugoslavia and peru. . have you done just this area or -- >> all of it. >> reporter: her team used tie-tech equipment to scan into the ground. all the red you see suggests the location of possible grave sites, but we won't know for sure unless exhumations are ordered. florida state officials won't comment until they can review kimmerly's findings. >> these are children who came here and died for one reason or another, and quite literally have just been lost in the woods, and it's about restoring dignity and helpin -- if not putting a name to them, at least marking them and ak knowledging that they're here. >> reporter: the anthropologist also studied historic documents and public records and discovered a disturbing discrepancy. boys unaccounted for. >> this was long about the last pictures we had of him. >> reporter: this woman's brother was sent here in 1940.
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she said owen smith dreamed of playing guitar at the grand ole op opry. the 14-year-old has a musicians vagabond soul. he was shipped to reform school for stealing a car. she never saw him again. her family was told owen has run away. she still has a letter sent by the superintendent years ago. >> reporter: we will appreciate you notifying us immediately if you receive any word. >> reporter: she believes her brother was already dead. a few weeks later his family was told his decomposed body was found under a house near the school. >> they think he crawled under there, tried to keep warm, and that he got pneumonia and died, and that was their official cause of death was death from pneumonia and exposure. >> reporter: but was that based on anything scientific or any kind of autopsy? >> uh-uh. >> reporter: she says another student told them a far different story. >> he looked back, and my
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brother was running out across a field, an open field, and there was three men shooting at him with rifles. i believe until this day that they shot my brother that night, and i think they probably killed him, and they brought him back to the school and buried him. >> reporter: against the family's wishes, owen smith was buried on the school grounds. she's never figured out exactly where. no one was ever charged in his death back in 1941, but because of that case, along with other accounts of alleged abuse, beatings, and killings, the florida state law enforcement agency launched an investigation in 2008. its report concluded there was no evidence to suggest that any of the deceased died as a result of criminal conduct. the agency also said it couldn't find evidence to prove claims of physical or sexual abuse at the school. but many former students like robert say that report is a whitewashed cover-up. state officials say they stand
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by their report's findings. >> i'm mad at the state, yes. i'm angry at the state because they let this go on for 68 years and did nothing about it. >> reporter: robert says he was beaten with a leather strap and that some school leaders killed young boys and made them disappear. >> it is important to find all of the boys that were buried there. i mean, they're practically crawling out of their graves crying out, help, remember me. >> reporter: to robert and others, the florida reform school for boys is still hiding an evil untold past. ed lavandera, cnn, marianne na, florida. >> official findings from a recent state investigation are set to be released tomorrow. so we keep on hearing about the fiscal cliff, but if it does happen, what might that actually mean to you and your family? we're going to take a look at some hard numbers next. you don't have to be in front of a television to watch cnn. you can do what i do, stay connected, you can do it on your cell phone or you can do it from
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now. breaking news on the fiscal cliff talks. president obama and john boehner met face-to-face at the white house to try to prevent the fiscal cliff. now just 23 days away. e details on their conversations, but reps for both sides say the lines of communication remain open. at least four republican senators support a tax hike on wealthy americans. >> what we have done is spent ourselves into a hole and we're not going to raise taxes and borrow money and get out of it. so will i accept a tax increase as a part of a deal to actually solve our problems? yes. >> president obama wants republicans to agree to the wealthy tax hike before any negotiations about spending cuts begin. just after midnight gay couples living in washington state made history joining in the first legal same-sex marriages in the state. the governor signed the voter approved referendum into law on wednesday. mexican authorities say they have found the wreckage of a
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small plane believed carrying mexican american singer jenny rivera and six others. the plane had been missing since early this morning. reportedly lost contact with air-traffic controllers after taking off from monterey, mexico. authorities believe no one survived the crash. rivera is the mother of five children. the national menorah in front of the white house was illuminated marking the start of the 5ieight-day jewish holiday hanukkah. ♪ of course, no hanukkah celebration would be complete without a spinning dreidel. this one danced to music performed by the u.s. navy band. all the talk about the fiscal cliff may seem like a far off debate over politics in washington, but the reality is if lawmakers and the president don't cut a deal by the end of the month, every american will feel the effects. here is cnn's lisa sylvester.
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>> reporter: at this restaurant in arlington, virginia, plenty of food and drink. but there's something else cooking up, worry. co-owner jonathan williams concerned about the pending government fiscal cliff. >> there's a real simple correlation. people have jobs, they spend money. if people are worried about losing their jobs or don't have a job, then they're not going to go out that much. they're going to cook at home or stay at home. >> reporter: just a couple miles from the pentagon, many of the patrons here work directly or indirectly for the defense department and its contractors. the defense industry is facing $55 billion in discretionary spending cuts next year. unless congress acts to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. in addition, several key tax benefits are scheduled to expire at the end of the year that will have a direct impact on the pocketbooks of many americans. take a couple with one child living in new york earning $100,000. their tax rate jumps from 25% to 28%. they could be hit by the
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alternative minimum tax. the child tax credit drops from $1,000 to $500, and payroll taxes could be $2,000 more next year. for a single 25-year-old in michigan who works for time earning $30,000 a year and going to school part time, his tax rate would stay the same at 15%, but he would lose the american education tax credit and have to pay more than $600 in payroll taxes. and even though it's weeks before the changes would take effect, the impact is already being felt because of uncertainty. 401(k) plans are taking a hit. several companies have put a freeze on hiring. and the next thing to watch for, the retail sector which makes most of its money in the final weeks of the year. >> i'm shortening down the list a lot. just doing the essentials, taking care of the priorities first, and then trying to be pennywise and not dollar stupid. >> reporter: the national retail federation did a survey that 64% of americans are of whatting closely the negotiations and a
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lot of consumers are take a wait and see approach, reluctant to go on a spending spree. lisa sylvester, cnn, washington. a mystery in texas. reports of strange lights in the sky. some think it may have something to do with the mayan prediction, an end of the world. you decide for yourself next. , y to the board meeting... anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well. at the chevy year-end event because chevy's giving more. more efficiency with sonic and cruze... more function in equinox and traverse... more dependability with the legendary silverado...
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the president visits union-heavy michigan tomorrow a state he won easily last month, and now the center of new labor protests. michigan legislature is close to passing a right to work law and that's not sitting well with workers in the state where organized labor was born. one of the biggest labor unions
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in the country, united autoworkers, is firmly against the law which limits the union's power. michigan's republican governor says he'll sign the bill if it hits his desk this week. you know, it's been dubbed the fireball over texas. a bright light was seen streaking across the houston sky friday morning and for a few hours it was the walk of the town. debra wrigley of ktrk has the story. >> reporter: from a nasa camera, it looked like a bright light above the earth. these are from eyewitness viewers around the houston area. just as day was breaking a bright flash of light that some people thought was lightning. >> i was like i guess it's going to rain. >> reporter: it wasn't the weather and it was spotted all around texas. this map just a sampling of sightings in the houston area, and these are some of the pictures sent to abc 13.com showing a small area of colored light. others showing a trail behind it. and people have been talking
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about it all day. >> taking a picture of the sky like a big flash. >> co-workers who are talking about did you hear about the flash this morning? i'm like flash? should i be concerned. >> reporter: at the houston museum of natural science, not concern, but a lot of curiosity. >> it's going so fast it actually gets through the atmosphere. >> the museum's astronomer suspects it's a meteorite, a small piece of rock burning through space. if it meets the criteria. >> did it make a trail, did it actually move, did it change color, did it move from east to west? >> reporter: a lot of scientists searching for an explanation of what's called the fireball over texas. a lot of people who aren't scientists as well. >> i have heard different things about 2012, so it's kind of scary because it's getting closer to that day. >> that was debra wrigley reporting. nasa has since cleared up the confusion. the flash was a meteor.
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coincidentally a meteor shower is expected to begin later this week. are you on a job hunt or maybe you know someone who is? what if you could train on the job right from home? that's coming up. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost.
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who is black in america? it's a provocative question and soledad o'brien explores it in a special coming up at the top of the hour. >> in our conversations it seems like there are black people who are saying you're not black. >> right. >> and certainly that's been my experience. >> well, i think it's not at all surprising that when a community has been targeted for oppression for hundreds of years, a lot of the internalization of that oppression will happen. if you have an entire group of folks, in this case people of african descent, who were told the darker you are, the worse you are, that the lighter you are, the better you are, is that going to affect the mentality of
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black people themselves and cause at least in some cases certain folks in that community to perhaps turn against others in the community or to sort of play this game of, well, you're not really in the club? of course. but i think it's important that we never forget where that comes from. colorism within the black community was not created by black people. it was created by a system of white supremacy. >> provocative questions about skin color, discrimination, and race. who is black in america hosted by soledad o'brien coming up at 8:00 p.m. eastern right after this show at the top of the hour. of course, right here on cnn. what if you could get text messages without looking at your phone sent directly to your eyes? next. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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all right. it doesn't get much easier than this. you could learn a cutting edge job skill in the comfort of your own home for free. here's our lori siegel. >> reporter: the social network, hollywood's take on the founding of facebook. it showed mark zuckerberg working around the clock as he wrote software code to build the website that would attract millions of users. but you don't have to be mark zuckerberg to figure out how to
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code. enter code academy, a start-up that teaches people basic computer programming skills. if you go to code academy's site, you're prompted to begin a lesson. it begins with the basics and gets more involved. all of the lessons are free. >> generally when you have to learn to code, you download a bunch of applications like text editor in order to push your code places and write your code. we do it all on the internet. it's never reading a book and doing something else. you're interacting with the terminal itself. >> reporter: behind every app, website and computer program lies lines and lines of code. and 21-year-old founder zach s mechl sems is believing that this is the next generation. >> there are architects and construction workers. we need a lot of construction workers who are sort of making software real as opposed to designing the software. >> it was launched earlier this year. it already has nearly one
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million users and $2.5 million in funding from top investors. he says the site is working to develop more advanced courses and partner with online job sites to get users from the classroom to the cubicle. those partnerships may be a way for the company to earn revenue. >> we will be pairing people up with jobs based on the skills they get. as people progress through a curriculum, they'll have an online profile that they can use to apply the jobs with. right now we're finding developors and designers to work with. >> all right. there's lori. she joins us now from new york. so, lori, how hard it is really to learn how to code? it seems a bit intimidating to many people, i'm sure. >> very intimidating. i tried it. these basic programming skills actually not that difficult. you can go on the site and try it out. are you going to be able to learn to code like mark zuckerberg in a couple months? i don't think so. the basic programs are not that difficult. you should try. just give it a shot. >> okay. >> so let's go on.
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let's talk -- let's move to the next topic. most of us take our cell phones everywhere. we may not even need to text messages. they'll just come directly to our eyes through contact lenses? what is that? >> welcome to the future. the future is now, don. essentially belgian researchers are developing this technology. it would go inside your contact lens. it would enable you to project text messages from your phone to your eyes. i mean imagine that. you're going to have no excuse for saying oh, i didn't get your text because it's coming and it's going to be in your line of vision. and they're saying the future is going to be really interesting. can you do this with directions. you could do this -- you know, directions projected. you could just open your eyes and they're there. medical uses. so i think, you know, they're saying this technology is going to be available in the next five years. it's a really interesting one and put it in direct competition with some other ones. >> do you know how many people i see driving and texting or just
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walking and texting and bumping into stuff. last thing we need right from your eyes. >> it could solve the problem. >> i don't know. you'd be distracted. you'll be talking to someone and think they're talk toug but they're actually texting somebody. >> well, in the future, you're going to be blinking. it's going to be very strange. i mean a lot of people are developing this kind of technology. i can only imagine what five, ten years down the vood going to look like. >> why do we even need other people? you just need a device and yourself. >> thank you. >> what if the next time you had to go somewhere you didn't have to do the driving? i would love that. details next. inspiration. great power. iconic design. exhilarating performance. [ race announcer ] audi once again has created le mans history! [ male announcer ] and once in a great while... all of the above. take your seat in the incomparable audi a8. take advantage of exceptional values on the audi a8 during the season of audi event.
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♪ during well, if itmr. margin?margin. don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know.
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try fast, long lasting gaviscon®. a lot of holly partying coming up. you may need a backup driver. >> reporter: sniff this, dogs giving up the backseat for the driver's seat. >> just when you thought you'd seen it all. >> reporter: seen r soon, we've all seen it, video of three dogs at a spca branch in new zealand being taught to shift gears. >> good. >> reporter: and steer. >> good boy. >> reporter: first on carts, then on actual cars with the controls modified for doggy legs. a is the command for accelerate. good boy. turn. >> reporter: next week after two months of training, porter will attempt to drive a mini cooper alone on an empty track live on new zealand television.
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just months ago the idea of a dog driving was considered a joke. a gag sub rue used to advertise cars. and remember those old snl bits? let's hope the new zealand dogs do better than the two those did. they were celebrated by gawker with the headline, dog drives man. buzz feed noted, finally, dogs who chase cars will have something to do once they catch them. and david letterman didn't even need to make a joke to get a laugh. >> honest to god. isn't that -- >> reporter: he nevertheless did the top ten signs your driver is a bad driver. >> crosses four lanes of traffic to go after a squirrel. >> reporter: online